• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Best year if I want to upgrade from my 2wd

James Morse

1997 XLT 4.0L 4x4 1999 Mazda B3000 2wd
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
879
Reaction score
332
Points
63
Location
Roanoke VA
Vehicle Year
1997 and 1999
Make / Model
XLT 4x4 & B3000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L in XLT, 3.0L in B3000
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
235/75-15
My credo
There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
M-4001-88373T (rear diff)
This is part# of differential that Ford discontinued according to my info and it is the one that matches to the T-56 shifter in terms of rpm in gear etc.
I have no idea if that was ever used in Rangers. I do know it's the diff that people look for to use in the FFR Daytonas which have Mustang type rear axle and there's been quite a bit of talk where you can get them (or not) as apparently all the ones available now have to be pulled from something.
I'm not saying everyone likes that diff but by and large it's the one people look for and I don't know the reasons why but usually in situations like this I just read what most experienced people say and go with that.
It is an altogether different project just came up because of differential discussion. They are putting various engines but typically today you would want to use the Coyote/T56/Torsen 3.73. So you are running about 450HP in a 2400lb car. You can put all kind of different engines even LS if you want or Ford SB 427 etc or old rebuilt 302 or 347 etc etc. just depends what you want. Obviously at 5lbs/HP you are running basically a race car on the street.
-----------
For those not aware of it there's a great writeup here on TRS about what was available when, for the FX trucks: Ford Ranger FX4 Off-Road and Level II - By The Years - The Ranger Station
2003 FX4 L2 had 31" tires OEM. Maybe some other years too.
 
Last edited:


stmitch

March 2011 STOTM Winner
MTOTM Winner
2011 Truck of The Year
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
441
Points
83
Location
Central Indiana
Vehicle Year
2000
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
Just want to point out that the rear gears (ring and pinion) are not a permanent part of the rear differential. The ring gear is bolted to whatever differential you buy. So you can pick/choose the dif you want, and the gear ratio that you want.

3.73 or 4.10 are fine for mostly stock trucks. Same with Trac-Lok differentials. You can buy 2 or 3 new Trac-Loks for the price of 1 new Torsen. And you can find tons of factory 8.8s in junkyards that came with Trac-Loks that can be rebuilt/upgraded with stronger parts if the clutches are done.
 

stmitch

March 2011 STOTM Winner
MTOTM Winner
2011 Truck of The Year
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
441
Points
83
Location
Central Indiana
Vehicle Year
2000
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual
I don't know that we need to write post after post after post debating or discussing this. You can spend forever trying to decide which specific year/configuration is the unicorn you're looking for, but honestly these things are pretty much legos, and you can add/upgrade/customize a truck to be exactly what you want or need rather than tirelessly searching for something that may not exist.

These are basic trucks. Any of the 4wd stuff will be capable for what you want to do with it. Just find one in decent shape for a good price and then drive it. You'll find things that you like or don't like and you can probably rectify those things as they come up and funds allow. But even in stock form they're fairly capable with decent tires and a driver that isn't careless.

All of these trucks are at least a decade old now, and some are well into their third decade so you're better off buying the nicest example you can find rather than a ratty version of the one unicorn that the internet thinks will be most ideal. You've stated that you need the extended cab, and you need it to be 4wd. With those two things set as requirements, the only big choices you have to make, or things that would be difficult to change:

1) I beams or torsion bars?
-either one probably works for your goals, but the newest I beam/TTB truck is going to be 25 years old at this point
2) Which V6?
-3.0 is tough to kill but slow. Available until '08 or '09
-4.0 OHV is also tough to kill, but only available until 2000 so they're all high mileage now.
-4.0 SOHC is the newest, most powerful but it's also a stupid design that might require it to be yanked out to repair timing chains
3) Manual trans or auto?
-auto is far more common. Manual is more durable but a 4wd manual trans is going to be hard to find, and you may have to settle for an engine that you don't want, etc.
 
Last edited:

Roert42

Well-Known Member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
3,580
Reaction score
3,118
Points
113
Location
Kintersville, PA
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
I agree with stmich.

I've taken a stock torsion bar 4x4 with open diffs down some pretty rough gas pipeline roads in state forests. Actually the tires I had on it where smaller then stock.

Only got stuck once, when my brother sunk the truck up to the frame in mud.

Any good working truck will work well for what your interests seem to be, driving around in the woods on logging roads. I would just buy the one that seems to be in the best shape you can find. Give it a basic tune up and a set of nice tires.
 

James Morse

1997 XLT 4.0L 4x4 1999 Mazda B3000 2wd
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
879
Reaction score
332
Points
63
Location
Roanoke VA
Vehicle Year
1997 and 1999
Make / Model
XLT 4x4 & B3000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L in XLT, 3.0L in B3000
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
235/75-15
My credo
There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Yes thanks so much I think we covered it pretty well.

Mazda B4000 (Ranger) Off Road Shenanigans - YouTube

this one below is really cool that truck is obviously lifted a lot plus looks like shocks and stuff. solid axle swap.
sas ranger playing in the mud - YouTube


above (the Mazda) is probably the roughest road I'd be looking at so if I had that truck I'd be good to go.

It looks to me like he added (Mazda) the bar/skid plate in front and maybe it's raised a little bit and has 31" or bigger tires. Otherwise I'm guessing it's stock.

Question if there are torsion bars and you want to change to coilover in the front of a 4x4 is it very hard and does it work?
 
Last edited:

lil_Blue_Ford

Well-Known Member
Forum Moderator
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
6,535
Reaction score
2,873
Points
113
Location
Butler, PA, USSA
Vehicle Year
95
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.9L
Transmission
Manual
Question if there are torsion bars and you want to change to coilover in the front of a 4x4 is it very hard and does it work?
My understanding is that it does work well, but it also requires welding. At one time a kit was available but I dunno if there’s still any out there. Might be possible to scrape up enough information to make something work without a kit if you can weld and fab. I thought about trying to get a kit or make something for my Ranger, but I really just need to get it back on he road right now.
 

sgtsandman

Aircraft Fuel Tank Diver
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Active
TRS 20th Anniversary
TRS Event Participant
Ham Radio Operator
GMRS Radio License
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
9,305
Reaction score
7,323
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa, PA
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
Ford Ranger XLT
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
Pre-2008 lift
Tire Size
31X10.5R15
I'm not sure you really gain much converting to coil overs. You are still limited to what the rest of the suspension system has left for other upgrades and the cross member that the torsion bars lock into, also supports the transmission. Now, if you are great on fabrication or have enough money to pay someone who is, then the sky is the limit.
 

stmitch

March 2011 STOTM Winner
MTOTM Winner
2011 Truck of The Year
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
Messages
2,111
Reaction score
441
Points
83
Location
Central Indiana
Vehicle Year
2000
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Manual

James Morse

1997 XLT 4.0L 4x4 1999 Mazda B3000 2wd
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
879
Reaction score
332
Points
63
Location
Roanoke VA
Vehicle Year
1997 and 1999
Make / Model
XLT 4x4 & B3000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L in XLT, 3.0L in B3000
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
235/75-15
My credo
There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
This seems like a lot of work to get rid of the torsion bars. I wonder how often it actually happens they get bent and person is stuck. That's the only concern I had but if it's something that -could- happen but in reality basically never does, then certainly it's not worth it (cool, though!).
 

superj

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 1, 2021
Messages
1,914
Reaction score
1,321
Points
113
Location
corpus christi, texas
Vehicle Year
2004
Make / Model
ranger edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
3 liters of tire smoking power
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
none
Total Drop
none
Tire Size
235s
My credo
Grew up in the 70s, 80s, and 90s
i don't think it happens much. i had torsion on my frontier and my isuzu trooper2 and never got hung up anywhere because of those. not that the frontier ever went anywhere bad since it was 2wd but the trooper went anywhere i saw, even if the other trucks couldn't make it, i would try. 33s on it and it ate a rear d44 one time and once i swapped a replacement in, i never had another issue. the torsion bar never got me stuck anywhere though
 

James Morse

1997 XLT 4.0L 4x4 1999 Mazda B3000 2wd
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2021
Messages
879
Reaction score
332
Points
63
Location
Roanoke VA
Vehicle Year
1997 and 1999
Make / Model
XLT 4x4 & B3000
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0L in XLT, 3.0L in B3000
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
235/75-15
My credo
There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Don't forget that our dollars today aren't worth what they were in say 2009. Those dollars are worth about 1.40. So if I look at what an '09 sold for at the time, to think of its price in today's dollars, it's almost 50% higher. Let's say a loaded '09 loaded with options might go for 30k. That's 42k in today's dollars.
It just puts things into perspective to help answer the question "How can someone sell a truck over ten years old for almost what it cost new?" In real dollars, it's not almost what it cost - so there's the "missing" depreciation what one would expect.
That said prices are still inflated but they are starting to come down and if we get a recession they ought to really slide but who knows.
I refined my search some and I'm pretty much focused on 07-11 at this point and I wanted something not too high miles (100k?) for like $10k and that's kind of hard to find... maybe my target price is too low for the current market.
 

Sponsored Ad


Sponsored Ad

Top